30 Desk Organizer Ideas to Tidy Your Workspace

Home office with minimal desk and shelf storage

Cathie Hong Interiors

If your desk is cluttered, odds are your mind is too.

An untidy desk creates consistent interruptions from your work. The constant influx of mail and projects can make it even more challenging to address the mess, let alone maintain a tidy space. And since crowded desktops can quickly distract you from focusing on the task at hand, it's important to find solutions to the problem.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to create a tidy workspace. Here are 30 of our favorite ideas to help you get organized.

  • 01 of 30

    Store Electronics in Your Desk Cabinet

    Electronics stowed underneath desk

    @joanna_organize / Instagram

    If you work with a laptop, tablet, or iPad, one simple way to organize your desktop is to stow your devices whenever you're not using them. Pick up a simple file organizer, place it in a cabinet near an outlet, then put your devices away at the end of the day.

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  • 02 of 30

    Organize Supplies with Drawer Dividers

    Desk drawer organized with dividers

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    If you have a habit of filling your workspace with post-its and pencils, be intentional about their storage. Use a set of drawer organizers and dividers to assign each item a home and limit the time you spend searching for a specific product.

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  • 03 of 30

    Keep Your Desktop Clear

    Clean desktop in home office

    @laura.cattano / Instagram

    If you are easily distracted, one habit you should consider adopting in your home office is to clear your desktop completely when you're not working. No pencil holders, no file organizers, nothing. When you keep your desk clear, your mind is too.

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  • 04 of 30

    Minimize Decor in Your Home Office

    Double desk for at-home office

    Cathie Hong Interiors

    Decor can make you home office more inviting and cozy, but too many picture frames and plants can also become overwhelming. Keep your decorative additions to a minimum so you can limit potential distractions as you work.

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  • 05 of 30

    Utilize Wall Space

    Floating desk for art studio

    @dwellaware / Instagram

    For those with limited desk space, take advantage of the surrounding walls for storage. The home office pictured here includes a desk lamp, organizers for paperwork, and pencil holders all on the walls rather than the desktop.

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  • 06 of 30

    Opt for a Neutral Color Palette

    Minimal at-home desk

    @estherbschmidt / Instagram

    Vibrant post-its and highlighters can certainly draw your eye to urgent tasks and to-dos, but they can also break your focus. Instead, create a neutral workspace to limit distractions and help you stay on track.

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  • 07 of 30

    Add Some Greenery

    Neutral and minimal at-home office

    @thehouseonhillsidelane / Instagram

    Keeping your decor to a minimum can also limit distractions while you work. However, a pop of green here and there adds life and light to your workspace, so don't hesitate to pick a couple of plants for your desk.

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  • 08 of 30

    Create a Space That Fits Your Style

    At-home office with neutral colors

    @jennpablostudio / Instagram

    Some readers may lean toward modern interior design. Others may like an eclectic, boho-inspired look. Whatever is your unique style, let it show in your home office. When you create a workspace you love, you'll create a space you love to work in.

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  • 09 of 30

    Let in the Natural Light

    At-home office with colorful walls

    @studiolondonco / Instagram

    Even if your desk is tidy, you may still feel sluggish in your home office. A quick way to wake yourself up and get back into the swing of things is by letting in some light. Good old fashioned vitamin D can perk you right up, and it'll shed some light on that clean and sparkly workspace.

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  • 10 of 30

    Hide Your Paperwork

    Paper products kept in file organizer

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    Paperwork may be your desk's biggest threat when it comes to combating clutter. Avoid future disruptions to your workday by creating a storage system for paper products in advance. A set of file organizers may do the trick, but spend time finding a solution that works for you.

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  • 11 of 30

    Invest in New Writing Utensils

    Matching pens, pencils, and markers

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    If you're constantly finding dull pencils and inkless pens in your drawer, it's time for an upgrade. A new set of matching writing utensils not only creates a clean look, it'll help you stay on top of your work rather than digging through expired pens.

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  • 12 of 30

    Give Every Item a Home

    Office supplies for desk in drawer with dividers

    @joanna_organize / Instagram

    Instead of filling empty storage spaces with office supplies, make sure you're creating storage spaces for necessary office supplies. Build your storage system around the products you need and use, rather than the other way around.

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  • 13 of 30

    Label Your Storage Containers

    Labels for craft supplies

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    Labeling your storage containers is a go-to tip from professional home organizers, and it's applicable to your workspace as well. In cabinets, drawers, shelves, and more, label your containers and bins to simplify clean-up and help you stay tidy.

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  • 14 of 30

    Avoid Overcrowding

    Minimal home office with drawer dividers

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    If you have space for more paper clips in your drawer divider or sharpies in your pencil cup, pause before you act. Resist the urge to overcrowd your desktop and drawers. Extra storage space does not mean you need extra supplies.

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  • 15 of 30

    Hide Desk Organizers

    Contemporary modern home office

    @ann.living / Instagram

    Pencil cups and file organizers can certainly help tidy up a crowded desktop, but hiding your storage solutions may be an even better alternative. Consider drawer dividers and even traditional file cabinets to help keep your workspace clear.

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  • 16 of 30

    Keep Your Calendar Close

    Small built-in desk with floating shelves

    Arbor & Co.

    If you find miscellaneous assignments and due dates crowding your mind, reclaim your focus with a calendar. Whether you use a dry erase board, a desk pad calendar, or a traditional flip calendar, keep this organizational tool within reach.

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  • 17 of 30

    Buy a Shelf for Your Desktop

    Home office with desk with shelf / riser for monitor

    AscentXmedia / Getty Images

    If you're working with a smaller desk footprint, consider adding a shelf or monitor stand to your desktop. You can use this to keep notepads and writing utensils accessible, slide your laptop underneath when you're not working, and more.

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  • 18 of 30

    Install Floating Shelves

    Modern home office with desk with floating shelves

    fotostorm / Getty Images

    Another way to add extra space to your desk is with a pair of floating shelves. Use your shelves for items you want nearby, but don't want crowding your desktop: a small flip calendar, office supplies like staplers and tape, or decorative additions like a plant or picture.

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  • 19 of 30

    Sort Essential Paperwork With a File Organizer

    Home office with desk organizers

    @jennpablostudio / Instagram

    If your job demands you work with a large amount of paper, relocating paperwork to a cabinet or shelf may not be the best way to organize. Use a desktop file organizer to create a system that keeps your paperwork close, without giving it free reign.

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  • 20 of 30

    Create a Wall of Built-ins

    Home office with glass desk and built-in cabinets

    @jennpablostudio / Instagram

    As you grow into your career, your home office needs to grow with you. One way to add more storage space and prevent overcrowding on your desk is with a wall of stylish built-ins. In this home office, the built-ins surround some additional counter space as well.

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  • 21 of 30

    Maintain a Consistent Aesthetic

    Home office with antique desk, decor, and accessories

    @bespokeonly / Instagram

    Keeping your workspace tidy requires much more than simply clearing your desktop. Clutter is far more complex. Even competing design influences can create a messy look in your home office. To avoid this issue, make sure your stylistic choices are consistent.

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  • 22 of 30

    Face Your Desk Away From Lists

    Minimal home office with white desk

    Calimia Home

    Are you easily distracted from your work? Help yourself stay on track by moving potential interruptions behind you. A corkboard full of to-dos? A white board stuffed with random reminders? Keep them nearby, but out of sight.

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  • 23 of 30

    Invest in Stylish Storage

    Stylish home office with contemporary desk

    Charbonneau Interiors

    If you don't like where you work, you'll limit the time spent in that space, intentionally or unconsciously. Make your home office inviting and pleasant with stylish storage choices. Everything from the oversized cabinet to the petite pencil cup can be both pretty and practical.

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  • 24 of 30

    Add a Shelf for Excess Storage

    Home office with minimal desk and shelf storage

    Cathie Hong Interiors

    If you've purchased file organizers and a monitor stand but still struggle to keep your desk clean, it may be time to invest in a larger storage solution. A simple shelf for your book collection or office appliances is a great place to start. Later, you might want to upgrade to built-ins or downgrade to floating shelves, depending on your needs.

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  • 25 of 30

    Hide Cords and Cables

    Home office with Mac and simple desk

    Katherine Carter Design

    Tangled cords and cables are one of the quickest ways to divert your attention off of your work. No matter the style of desk you own or the electronics you work with, make sure your workspace hides these eyesores well.

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  • 26 of 30

    Add Extra Surface Space

    Home office with L-shaped desk

    Hannah Tyler Designs

    Even if you hung a shelf or two and added some stylish storage solutions within your home office, some careers simply necessitate more desk space. Consider upgrading to an L- or U-shaped desk. If you don't want to get a new desk entirely, consider extending your workspace with a table instead.

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  • 27 of 30

    Buy a Rolling File Cabinet

    Minimal home office with Mac on desk

    Katie LeClercq Design Studio

    Filing cabinets may feel outdated, but they remain effective storage tools, so don't write them off just yet. Not only will this addition help you keep paperwork close without crowding your desk, but if you choose a cabinet with wheels, you can move your storage anywhere with ease.

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  • 28 of 30

    Invest in Ergonomic Furniture

    Warm, cozy home office with ergonomic desk and chair

    @ekaterynagonchar / Instagram

    When your workspace is consistently untidy, the issue may be exacerbated by cheap furniture. If your desk and chair aren't comfortable, odds are they aren't functional either. Address the issue and invest in ergonomic pieces that won't divert your focus while you work.

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  • 29 of 30

    Create Common Sense Storage for Kids

    Kid's desk with labeled storage containers

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    Adults may struggle to maintain a tidy workspace, but the challenge is even more difficult for kids. Help your children maintain a clean desktop with additions like floating shelves, labeled storage containers, and more. Create an organized system they can keep up with.

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  • 30 of 30

    Create "Zones" Within Your Home Office

    Home office with couch and minimal desk and design

    KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images

    For those with larger office spaces, create clear "zones" for your storage. For instance, you could store larger tech items like your printer and scanner in one corner of your office. Or, if you need a "change of scenery" every so often, add a sofa or oversized chair and alternate where you work.